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The charity, Women’s Aid, have now published their 2019 domestic abuse report. This document presents an audit on information gathered by domestic abuse services across England between 2017 and 2018.

During the Queen’s Speech in June 2017, Her Majesty the Queen stated that the Government intended for legislation to be “…brought forward to protect the victims of domestic violence and abuse”. Following this in March 2018, the Government launched a consultation document called Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse. This was written around four main themes including, promotion of awareness, protection and support for victims of abuse, pursue and deter perpetrators of domestic abuse and improve performance across all services.

In January 2019, the draft Domestic Abuse Bill was published, offering the opportunity to reform current approaches when tackling domestic abuse. Through providing new legislation, the Government would be able to assist public bodies to improving their national response to this ever increasing societal concern, including the Police, healthcare bodies and educational establishments.

Research has indicated that domestic abuse costs society a massive £66bn each year (Oliver et al, 2019). Domestic abuse services have streamlined the way they gather demographic and statistical data and they can now use this to show that survivors of abuse, report they had experienced more physical and emotional harm.

Unfortunately, The Domestic Abuse Report 2019: The Annual Audit, indicates that essential services for those experiencing domestic violence and abuse, are continuing to face funding cuts and uncertainty across all their areas of support. You can download the full report here and the summary report here.

The audit looked at a sample group of 18,995 females who were assisted by Women’s Aid between 2017 and 2018. Below are some of the key findings:

The average length of abuse experienced by service users was just under six years.

Over half (58.3%) of service users had children, equating to 22,479 children of service users, averaging 1.2 children per service user

In 2017 to 2018, 59.7% of all referrals to refuge services were declined. The main reason for this was due to the lack of space or capacity.

94.1% of the sample group experienced emotional abuse and 68.9% experienced physical abuse.

The bed spaces at refuges continues to fall short of the recommended minimum standards by the Council of Europe; the reduction was by 1,715 bed spaces in May 2018.

239 women were killed by a partner or ex-partner in April 2014 to March 2017 in England and Wales (ONS, 2018)

Between December 2015 and December 2017, 235 offenders had been convicted of the principal offence of coercive and controlling behaviour.

To discuss how our Family team can help you and your children become safe from domestic abuse, now and in the future, please call us on 08000 147720, send us an email or text LAW to 67777 to book a free 30 minute consultation.